What Dionne Warwick Reveals about the Drug War

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. By Sheldon Richman, Knight Ridder Tribune
    Source: Tallahassee Democrat

    The American Inquisition got another one last month. Singer Dionne Warwick, who was found with nearly a dozen marijuana cigarettes at the Miami airport recently, had her charges dropped in return for promising to undergo "drug treatment" and to make anti-drug public-service announcements.
    Let's not dwell on the fact that a poor kid found with a few joints in a bad neighborhood isn't offered the same deal Warwick got. The two-tier system of punishment for drug offenses is old news. Just look what happens when the child of a senator is caught with contraband.

    Rather, let's look at what Warwick's case says about the "war on drugs" per se, which is not a war on drugs at all, but a war on people. This modern-day Inquisition is designed to hunt down drug heretics. Ultimately, its victims are punished not just for what they do but also for what they think. And what they think are forbidden thoughts about drugs.

    Instead of believing, say, that a glass of wine is OK, but a joint is bad, they may think that a joint is not much different from a glass of wine. We can't have people thinking that. That's why Warwick was offered the deal. As a celebrity, she is more valuable as a convert than as a convict.

    That the Inquisition is aimed at thoughts can be readily seen in the terms of her deal. To avoid trial she had to promise to attend "drug treatment." What happened there? She certainly was not being treated in the sense that a physician would treat her for a stomach ulcer or high blood pressure.

    This "treatment" consisted of talk by her and by psychiatrists, psychologists or other mental-health personnel. What did they say? The experts probably told her lies about marijuana that are only slightly more sophisticated than those told in the government's old propaganda film "Reefer Madness." No one in the room believed them.

    Nationwide, the taxpayers pay hundreds of millions of dollars to finance this inflated nonsense that goes by the name "treatment." Most of the people there are trying to stay out of jail.

    Then there are those public-service announcements. Here is where Warwick will do public penance by recanting her heresy. She will probably tell kids not to use illegal drugs. How convincing will that be?

    Until recently, she apparently saw nothing wrong with using marijuana. She "got religion" just after criminal charges were filed against her and then dropped. A coincidence? If not, why should anyone believe anything she says about drugs? It is certainly more likely that she'll deliver her anti-drug message only because she could go to jail if she refuses. When someone has that strong a personal interest in making a statement that conflicts with her own previous conduct, we are entitled to skepticism, if not outright incredulity.

    Does the government think we are so dumb that we will take Warwick's public-service announcements seriously? Yes it does. It is striking how much of what the government does is comprehensible once you realize that it thinks most Americans are idiots.

    While Warwick will avoid prison in return for her re-education and public recantation, others are not so fortunate. The prison statistics are a scandal. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 1999 more than half (57 percent) of federal prisoners were drug offenders. That's more than 68,000 people. In 1997, state prisons held 251,200 drug offenders, about 20 percent of state prison inmates. A disproportionate number of those prisoners are black.

    Americans are losing their liberty for having unapproved ideas - and acting on them peacefully - about what substances they should be free to ingest. That is unworthy of a self-described free society.

    Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation - http://www.fff.org - a libertarian organization in Fairfax, Va., and editor of Ideas on Liberty magazine. Contact him at: The Future of Freedom Foundation, 11350 Random Hills Road, Suite 800, Fairfax, Va. 22030.

    Source: Tallahassee Democrat (FL)
    Author: Sheldon Richman, Knight Ridder Tribune
    Published: Friday, August 30, 2002
    Copyright: 2002 Tallahassee Democrat
    Contact: tdedit@taldem.com
    Website: http://www.tdo.com/

    Related Articles & Web Site:

    Bureau of Justice Statistics
  2. hey, i'm just wondering...
    do you read all these articles? from like start to finish?
    cause it takes me at least an hour for just ONE of them....and i see alot of these types of articles posted...so that must be alot of time being consumed!!

    either that, or your just a really fast reader
    either that, or i'm just a really SLOW reader
    either way...i'm just wondering, do you actually read these articles or do you find it to be an interesting headline so you decide to post it?
  3. oh, by the way...i read the first paragraph and it seems like a good article.
    yeah, i wish if i had half a dozen marijuana ciggarettes i could just undergo treatment and all that....that sounds nice and easy!
    instead of being in jail, on probation, all that bullshit.
    well, back to my smoke....

  4. Well by average I post only one intresting article a day, but yeah I read a lot, but it does not seems excessive :), I just love the knowlegde.


  5. I doubt we'll see any CEOs confessing their sins, begging other corporate managers not to bilk billions of dollars from the retirement funds of average working people. Most will be living the Life of Riley, laughing at the misery they caused.

    Instead, this government continues to preach that the "serious crime" is smoking marijuana.

    Alas, not even Freud could help these psychopaths.

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